Jemison coach not surprised by slow start, strong finish
Jemison coach Jake Hogan wasn’t surprised his team played better as last week’s game progressed.
The Panthers fell behind rival Chilton County High School, 21-0, but rallied to send the game into overtime and pull out a 34-28 victory.
Jemison’s spring game was rained out, and the team was able to get in only one offensive snap during its jamboree on Aug. 23 at Tallassee.
“The first half of the (CCHS) game was our jamboree,” Hogan said.
The Panthers seemed to play better and better the longer the game went on. Jemison held Chilton to seven points in the third and fourth quarters–and two overtime periods–while the Panthers scored 22 points in the fourth quarter.
“We were executing a whole lot better,” Hogan said. “Nobody panicked. Everybody saw that it was coachable mistakes that we were making.”
Hogan pointed to a stretch of the game late in the third quarter and early in the fourth as the turning point.
The coach went for it on 4th-and-short in Jemison territory, but the CCHS defense didn’t allow the first down and the visiting Tigers took over possession of the ball with a chance to put the game away with a score.
“I told my defense during a heat timeout that I had just made a mistake and that [they] needed to bail me out,” Hogan said.
Jemison’s defense held, and on the team’s next offensive possession, John Underwood scored from 18 yards out and Keyshawn Jemison tacked on a 2-point conversion to bring the score to 21-14.
On Chilton’s ensuing possession, Randy Satterfield intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown to draw JHS to within one point of the lead.
Satterfield scored Jemison’s next touchdown on a 29-yard reception from Kevin Nunn on 4th-and-10. That score gave Jemison its first lead of the game.
Satterfield, also a receiver and kick returner who is expected to be the team’s most dangerous weapon, had been quiet to that point. Hogan said Satterfield retaining his focus and not getting frustrated is a tribute to his maturity and leadership as a senior.
“He kept going, and then he ends up having a pick-six and changing the momentum,” Hogan said. “You can only keep good players harnessed for so long.”
Jemison’s defense held Chilton County scoreless in two overtime periods. The Panthers won the game on an 11-yard Keyshawn Jemison run on 3rd-and-9.
While the Panthers were able to overcome their slow start in the first game of the season, Hogan knows that formula won’t work regularly.
“The emphasis this week is starting faster,” Hogan said about Jemison’s upcoming game against Oak Grove.